New initiative on dementia with BIG funding
10 August 2012
If you have ever lost a child or vulnerable adult in your care – even briefly, then you know how stressful it can be.
Across England & Wales about 100 people a day get lost for the first time due to dementia. And this is a growing problem. It is very upsetting for their spouses and family and can occasionally be life-threatening to the person with dementia. Frequently, it is the trigger point for the family to decide the individual will have to be admitted to a care home.
Neighbourhood Return is an innovative service to help address the problem – and is being set up by the Neighbourhood Home & Watch Network as a new initiative funded by a Silver Dreams BIG Lottery grant. Starting in Oxfordshire, we are recruiting a large number of volunteers, including Neighbourhood Watch members, who can be available to help look for someone who is missing. We only expect an hour or two of help when called. That is expected to average only once every three to six months.
We have developed the Neighbourhood Alert software used by NHWN nationally and an increasing number of police forces, so that volunteers can register to offer this help. The system will also enable carers of people with dementia registering the details of their loved ones in advance which will help us if they do need an urgent search. We have partnered with Dudley Telecare Services who will run a national call centre and use a bespoke module of the software to co-ordinate searches with volunteers – and liaise with the police as necessary.
James Maddan, NHWN Chair, comments: “The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network is all about building community capacity to respond to issues affecting residents safety. I am delighted that the lottery has approved our grant application for this service that was devised by a far-sighted consultant in dementia at the Oxford Health NHS Trust. It should also relieve some pressure on local police forces who may otherwise be called out to look for a missing dementia sufferer.”
The new NR Service Manager, Deborah Ginns, starts on 3 September.
You can find out more about the service and register as a volunteer, a carer or just to receive updates at: www.ourturn.org.uk.
Article courtesy of Richard Pantlin, Interim Project Manager, Neighbourhood Return